Student Success Initiative

Nine Essential Skills for Learning and Life

According to Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Nine Essential Skills provide the foundation for learning all other skills and enable people to evolve with their jobs and adapt to workplace change.

These skills are used in nearly every occupation and throughout daily life in different ways and at different levels of complexity.

Reading Text

The comprehension of text consisting of sentences and paragraphs

Document Use

The use of labels, lists, signs, graphs, charts, tables, forms and other similar materials


The preparation of written materials for a variety of purposes

Oral Communication

The use of speech for a variety of purposes

Computer Use

The use of any type of computerized technology


Using numbers and thinking in quantitative terms to complete tasks

Thinking Skills

The process of evaluating ideas or information to reach a decision

Working with Others

Working with other employees to carry out tasks

Continuous Learning

Participating in an ongoing process of acquiring skills and knowledge